by John Lescroart ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 22, 2019
Lescroart plots so cleverly that he has you believing his split-level thriller is really a single foreshortened novel. The...
Defense attorney Dismas Hardy’s long streak of getting along with everyone on both sides of the courtroom ends with a whimper when his friend Wes Farrell loses his campaign for re-election as district attorney of San Francisco to a rising star who wastes no time changing the rules.
Trouble begins quietly enough, with the sudden, unprecedented absence of Hardy’s secretary, Phyllis McGowan, from the office. When she returns a few days later, she assures Hardy (Poison, 2018, etc.) that everything’s fine. But her arrest as accessory to the murder of thief/extortionist/pimp Hector Valdez says different. It turns out that (1) Phyllis has a younger brother, Adam, she’s never mentioned (small wonder, since until six weeks ago he was doing time for armed robbery); (2) she’s been serving as one of the conductors on a modern-day Underground Railroad that helps shelter undocumented people from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement; and (3) Celia Montoya, one of the most recent clients she sheltered from both Hector and the feds, has been arrested for killing Hector. Hardy could have sprung Phyllis from jail in an hour while Farrell was in the office, but new D.A. Ron Jameson, stung by Hardy’s support of Farrell, is determined to give him a hard time at every turn, and it isn’t long before Hardy, announcing, “I want him stopped,” is returning his salvos in kind. It would be bad enough if Jameson were only hard-nosed and hostile, but he’s hiding a secret that would be death to his political aspirations: Both he and his wife, Kate, have committed murder. Since Hardy is cherishing some long-standing secrets of his own, the story becomes a race to see which of them can pry the other’s skeletons out of the closet first in order to pre-emptively neutralize any counterattack.Lescroart plots so cleverly that he has you believing his split-level thriller is really a single foreshortened novel. The perfect read for those who agree that “it’s only trouble if somebody’s shooting at you.”
Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019
Page Count: 336
Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018
Share your opinion of this book
by Max Brooks ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 16, 2020
A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).
A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.
Pub Date: June 16, 2020
Page Count: 304
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine
Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020
Share your opinion of this book
More About This Book
BOOK TO SCREEN
by Kathy Reichs ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2020
Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.
Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.
A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.
Pub Date: March 17, 2020
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
Share your opinion of this book
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!